“We needed technology to help us look forward over a year in advance and anticipate what’s likely to sell so that we can plan how best to use our prized raw materials and reduce waste,” said Morandière.
She added that its previous, centralised approach of managing everything from head office was no longer ideal for a business now operating in so many different international markets:
“We needed to move away from an operations-focused supply chain to a more customer-focused approach, with more decentralised processes and local flexibility across different regions. Before, we were used to working in silos – by region, or department – and rarely together.”
Since deploying demand forecasting software through industry specialist FuturMaster, Bonduelle is now better armed at optimising its sales forecasts and can synchronise local demand across Europe. The company completed the rollout of the software across all regions in 2018 for its retail and food service businesses, with plans to focus next (in 2019) on how improved Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) can help further with its sustainability objectives.
“To be competitive, we really had to improve our supply chain strategies and adopt a common language and processes,” said Morandière. “We rely on shared systems and access to the same reliable data across our sales, marketing and supply chain departments in every region.”
Benefits of the ‘digital transformation of Bonduelle’s supply chain’ cited, include: a better understanding of consumer needs; a XX% reduction in obsolete (or slow-moving) stock; and more successful new products (or new packaging) being launched through improved monitoring of sales.
The FuturMaster software also helps with agricultural planning and is already achieving high benchmarks for the industry, said Morandière. Forecasting accuracy has improved over both the short and long term. Short term planning accuracy is on track to increase up to twenty percent and long term planning accuracy has remained stable and very high (approaching ninety percent), despite moving to a more decentralised approach. There still remain some challenges and variations across different regions, with smaller retailers that stock fewer brands sometimes being more difficult to predict and share data with. Private label also tends to require a more reactive approach, she added.
As the business continues to grow and expand internationally, improved information exchange and sharing reliable information is clearly helping Bonduelle to adopt the mantra:‘think global, act local.’